Are printed books a thing of the past?

How do you like to read your favorite book? Making yourself comfortable at night, your tablet providing the only light needed with an e-book on display or paging through a physical copy, feeling the unique texture of the binding material? This month’s articles on our blog will be all about the different ways people read books nowadays and how the publishing industry is changing in accordance, starting with the traditional ones, the printed publications.

It’s no secret that people across the globe are slowly starting to prefer e-books over hardcovers and paperbacks. While this trend is progressing slowly in Germany (with e-books covering about 6% of the German book market’s sales of 2019, as shown by different studies), it’s skyrocketing almost anywhere else. So, what changed? And how can customers be convinced to prefer a printed copy?

First and foremost: physical books are almost always more expensive than their digital counterparts. Of course, the bookworms among us, the people who like to dip their toes in every available genre, who want to try out a new author or who need the newest scientific publication for their studies don’t want to spend a lot of money on every single purchase. It’s easier and so much more convenient to simply download your latest interest on your tablet or e-reader and you don’t feel half as bad if you don’t like it, because no additional paperback will take away space or collect dust on your shelves. And not to forget, e-books not only make a smaller dent in your wallet but also in your bag. Who prefers carrying a big and heavy volume around when it could be a tablet, light like a feather?

Back to us, the bookworms, bibliophiles, lovers of the art of printing; the people who want to get customers to buy physical books. We want them to get to love the art of printing, the feel of different binding materials and paper textures just as much as we do. We wish for them to have more bookshelves filled with beautiful hardcovers and backpacks crammed with paperbacks. Even if it’s just to increase the general appreciation for the traditional art of printing. How do we achieve that?

We think the key to success is to focus on the points we just mentioned. We want a reason to spend more money and since most stories and other publications can be found cheaper, the reason needs to be the physical copy itself. Be it a beautiful cover design, a unique leather binding wrapped around the block or an embossing that feels interesting, customers need to be able to see or touch a book’s selling point right away. Maybe we don’t like to carry that huge 1000 pages thriller we bought yesterday, but we sure like it’s scary cover with shiny red foil stamping.

Of course, that’s nothing new for decently informed participants in the publishing industry. Just a small reminder at the start of the second month of the year for us all, to appreciate a good old printed book.

See you next week with a brand-new article about e-books.


Your VdZu-Team

Autor des Artikels: Johannes Brack

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